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Haiti: rugged mountains and African traditions

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Haiti (République d’Haïti) is a presidential republic that occupies the western part of the island of Hispaniola. This island is the second largest island in the Greater Antilles (76,480 sq km) after Cuba.

The state of Haiti has only one land border, the one located to the east where it borders the Dominican Republic. While in the south-west it is separated from the island of Jamaica by the Jamaica channel, and in the north-west the windward channel separates it from Cuba. This republic of the Caribbean has as its capital the city of Port-au-Prince. Some islands are also part of the Haitian state including the Gonâve Island (743 sq km), the Île de la Tortue (180 sq km), the Île à Vache (52 sq km) and the two Cayamites islands (45 sq km, Grande Cayemite and Petite Cayemite).


Geographical characteristics of the country are the two long mountainous peninsulas that stretch to the north and south. Between the two peninsulas lies the Gulf of Gonâve. The northern peninsula stretches to the island of Cuba. While the southern peninsula (Le Tiburon) stretches for over 200 km to the island of Jamaica. This peninsula ends with the Massif de la Hotte, here is the Pic Macaya (2,347 meters), the second highest mountain in the country.

The Haitian territory is largely mountainous, formed by a succession of mountain ranges. To the north is the northern chain, while the eastern and central area of Haiti is formed by a high plateau. In the center are the Montagnes Noires and the Chaîne de Matheaux. Finally at the southern end is the Massif de la Selle which has the highest mountain in the nation, the Pic de la Selle (2,680 meters).

What, at the end of the 18th century, was the richest French colony in America, is today a very poor country. Among the poorest in the world. Haiti has a predominantly agricultural economy. Coffee, bananas, sugar cane, citrus, sisal, corn, rice, sweet potatoes, mango, cassava, beans, cocoa, coconuts, tobacco and cotton are produced here.

The climate of Haiti.

  • Area: 27,750 sqkm. (Arable 33%, Pastures 18%, Forests and Woodlands 5%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 44%)
  • Population: 11,100,000 (2018 data) (Blacks 95%, Mulattos (descendants of European and African) 4%, Europeans 1%).
  • State Capital: Port-au-Prince.
  • Language: Official languages are French and French Creole.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 80%; Protestant 15%, Vudu.
  • Currency: Gourde (HTG)
  • Time: UTC -5 hours.



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